District 87, namely Bloomington Junior High School (BJHS), is faced with various challenges. With an overcrowded school with many low-income students, performance in reading and mathematics is lower than the state average in all grade levels. In the last five years, the school has declined roughly 20% school wide in areas of mathematics and reading. Even with a community that is thriving and has a low unemployment rate, many students in BJHS are receiving government assistance. In all, there are numerous factors to consider when analyzing a school district’s performance.
According to the 2014 ISBE results posted in the Chicago Tribune, in 6th grade reading, only 40.5% of BJHS students meet state standards and 13.3% exceed those standards. This is slightly below average, however, as throughout the state of Illinois 43.2% of students meet and 14.1% exceed the standards. In 6th grade mathematics, there are more students meeting state standards at 45.2%, with 11.4% of students exceeding standards. Throughout the state of Illinois, however, 46.5% meet and 13.6 exceed mathematics standards. When the students advance to 7th grade, scores drop severely. In reading, 37.1% of children meet and 10.2% exceed reading expectations, compared to 45.3% meeting and 14.1% exceeding expectations statewide. In mathematics, 40.3% of BJHS students meet and 7.4% of students exceed standards versus 47.9% of students statewide meeting standards and 9.8% exceeding those standards. On the 8th grade reading exam, 39% of BJHS students met and 17.9% exceeded standards. The state average for this test is 42.1% meeting and 14.1% exceeding those expectations. In mathematics, 40.6% of BJHS students meet expectations while 15.6% exce...
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...se differences, it can be concluded that higher-income families either do not have children that attend Bloomington Junior High School or they send their children elsewhere.
In all, Bloomington Junior High School is an under-achieving school in regard to test scores. Though many factors contribute to these results, such as class size and poverty, the impression that is given to policy makers is relatively negative. They, when seeing this data, question the effectiveness of individual teachers. Upon examining statistics of the city of Bloomington, it is interesting to note that much of the data does not reflect that of Bloomington Junior High School. Since Bloomington is an up-and-coming town, one would think that District 87 would be superior to other districts in Illinois. In all, BJHS has numerous problems to address to increase the effectiveness of their school.
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